Battle of Warsaw, 1920, and some other stuff

15 Aug

No words but silent respect necessary from me for the traditions of Polish heroism (see Battle of Warsaw and Polish resistance movement in World War II and watch Andrzej Wajda‘s Kanał and the rest of his wartime trilogy). Just to remember that 19 years later they fought off, as viciously as they could, a double invasion from both sides by perhaps the two biggest armies in Europe, and — in a wider context — that only Poles, Serbs and us, among all the peoples of eastern Europe, had an organized and effective resistance against the Germans. Every other of the currently sovereign states of central and eastern Europe collaborated, and gleefully, with the Nazis.

Twenty-four years later, the Vistula didn’t grant Poles the same victorious miracle, however, as the Red Army, supposedly chasing the retreating Germans, and from whom the Polish resistance was expecting help, sat and waited, in one of the slimiest acts of Bolshevik slime, on the eastern shore of the river until the Nazis had effectively crushed the Poles and had flattened Warsaw, to make their advance, thinking they could thus inherit a more supine, destroyed and what they thought would be a more pliant Poland. How pliant lasted until 1989, when Poles effectively set Western civilization free from the Red Plague.

Polish soldiers displaying captured Soviet battle flags after the battle

And you don’t think I’m going to miss this opportunity to note once more one of the things that most make me what my friend E. calls “grouchy”, do you? the West’s reprehensible ignoring of the super-human efforts of Serbian resistance — both left and right — during the war, and the parallel ignoring of Croatian crimes during the entire twentieth century. I can’t right now produce more words here, describing the people with the most unexpiated moral baggage in Europe, yet who always get Europe and America’s support, so I’ll just quote myself:

But, for me, one basic fact is clear: that Croatians were always part of Yugoslavia in bad faith; that they wanted something out of the Serb efforts and Serbian blood that was decisive in defeating Austria in WWI, but that that something was independence, or greater autonomy within an Austria that they probably never expected to be dismembered the way it was – anything but what they felt was being subjected to Belgrade. And that became immediately clear upon the formation of the state when they – being, as Dame Rebecca calls them, good “lawyers” – began sabotaging the normal functioning of the Yugoslav government in any way they could, no matter how more democratic the Serbs tried to make an admittedly not perfect democracy, no matter how many concessions of autonomy Belgrade made to them. If there were any doubt as to the above, even when Radić and his Croatian People’s Peasant Party had turned the Skupština into a dysfunctional mirror image of today’s American Congress, even when a Macedonian IMRO activist working in tandem with Croatian fascists assassinated Serb King Aleksandr in Marseille in 1934, it was subsequently made brutally clear by the vicious death-spree Croatian, Nazi-collaborating fascism unleashed on Serbs during WWII, a true attempt at ethnic cleansing that dwarfs anything the Serbs may have done during the 90s — which is dwarfed again by what Croatians themselves did in the 90s again: the most heinous Nazi regime, “more royalist than the king,” as the French say — more Nazi than the Nazis — to appear in Eastern Europe during WWII.  And they have not been even remotely, adequately,  held to account by the world for any for any of the above; all this ignored, even as the West maintains a long list of mea-culpas it expects Serbs to keep reciting forever.

Alexander

King Aleksandr of Yugoslavia (click)

And so, when they got their chance in the 90s, with the backing of a newly united, muscle-flexing Germany, Croatians abruptly and unilaterally and illegally declared their long-wished for (but never fought-for) independence. And so did Slovenia; but again, who cares about Slovenia? It was a prosperous northern republic that may have held the same Northern-League- or-Catalan-type resentments against a parasitic south that was draining its wealth, but it was ethnically homogeneous and its departure left no resentful, or rightfully fearful, minorities behind. But Croatia knew, when it declared its independence – as did, I’m sure, their German buddies – that they were pulling a string out of a much more complex tapestry. And did it anyway. And we all saw the results.

Whole post is here Börek II — or Burek and the end of Yugoslavia. Later.

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